Q&A

Can I prohibit employees from all smoking?

07/07/2014
Q. I despise cigarette smoking, and I want to restrict my employees from smoking as much as possible. To what extent can I do so?

What's our risk of a sexual harassment suit?

07/07/2014
Q. The vice president of my company, whom I appointed, is really a nice guy, but he has propositioned many of the female employees on multiple occasions for sexual acts in his office. He has a great attitude towards the female employees who agree, but those who refuse have been recently discharged without my consent. Is this sexual harassment?

What could a race discrimination suit cost us?

07/07/2014
Q. An employee recently filed suit claiming race discrimination. What kinds of damages can he sue for, and what compensation could he receive?

What can I do about employee who is accusing me of wrongdoing?

07/07/2014
Q. An employee of mine recently reported me after allegedly seeing me “physically harm” another of my employees. Can I discharge this employee for reporting me?

Do we have an age discrimination risk if employee can no longer perform his job?

07/07/2014
Q. Jim has been a security guard for my company for over 20 years, and has always performed his duties without problem. Since his 60th birthday a few years ago, however, Jim has become steadily less able to walk the required distances during his rounds, and has also been forgetting crucial requirements of his position. Am I allowed to discharge him?

FMLA: Need certification or is a doctor's note OK?

07/04/2014
Q. Do employers have to request an official certification form for all FMLA situations, or can a physician’s note be enough for an employer to designate FMLA?

Can we require lie detector tests?

07/02/2014
Q. We have experienced several incidents of employee theft over the past few years. Would it be legal to require all job applicants to take a lie detector test?

What should we do? Her request for time off was denied, so she called in sick

07/02/2014
Q. What do we do if an employee calls in sick even though her request for time off was denied?

Can temps clock in using the same procedures as our regular employees?

06/24/2014
Q. Our business has been booming and we are short-staffed. We have brought on a number of temporary workers from a staffing agency. Is it acceptable to have the temporary workers use the same punch clock system that our regular employees use?

Can California employees authorize payroll deductions to cover costs to their employers?

06/24/2014
Q. In California, are payroll deductions for expenses or debts incurred unrelated to the performance of job duties permissible if authorized in advance and in writing by employees?

Are 'no poaching' agreements legal?

06/24/2014
Q. May two separate companies enter into an agreement to prevent each other from recruiting the best talent of each?

Do we have to warn someone before firing?

06/19/2014
Q. Is it OK to terminate an employee without first issuing some kind of a disciplinary warning?

Employee's out of FMLA: What options are left?

06/16/2014
Q. An employee has been out on leave and has now run out of FMLA leave. It’s unclear when she will return. Can we terminate her employment?

Is it possible to apply FMLA retroactively?

06/16/2014
Q. We have 75 employees at our one facility. An employee recently took two months off for a serious operation. We did not classify this as FMLA leave, but now we think we should have. What can we do?

Should we be paying for the trip from our home office to the work site?

06/16/2014
Q. One of our work crews needs to drive to a single work site during the day. One employee drives a truck and trailer with tools and equipment from our main facility. We would like to allow other employees to save gas by riding in the company’s truck. Do we need to pay employees for this commute time?
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